Adverse Credit & Problem Remortgages

from Shorething Mortgages

Recent News

Remortgage demand soaring

Leadbay has revealed that borrower demand for remortgages has increased by 25% in four months, exceeding that of first-time buyers for the first time since its records began in January 2005.

Since its launch, Leadbay has enabled advisers to buy the first-time buyer, purchase and remortgage leads separately, so it has been clear to see how the different types of borrower have changed over time. The number of first-time buyer leads is typically between 5% and 10% higher than the number of remortgages, but in September this switched over for the first time and, after a return to the status quo in October, remortgage enquiries have continued to rise and exceed purchase enquiries ever since.
Simon Baker, commercial manager at Leadbay said it appeared that borrowers were really astute at the moment in terms of looking to lower their mortgage rate, as the number of people looking for remortgage advice hasdrisen by 25% since October. He concluded: “On the other hand the number of first-time buyers has dropped, indicating a ‘wait and see’ attitude as they look to see if the housing market goes down any further.”

Remortgages fuel small jump in home loan figures for January

Some good news for the housing market emerged yesterday, as the British Bankers' Association reported "exceptionally strong" demand for funds to remortgage property. That would suggest that the credit crunch may not be affecting those refixing their mortgages quite yet, contrary to some of the more gloomy predictions about their plight.

The BBA said the number of remortgage approvals rose to 79,016, up 17 per cent on December and up 39 per cent year-on-year as a raft of borrowers came off two- and three-year fixed rate deals, albeit usually with a "payment shock" as they moved on to the higher rates now generally charged.

Remortgaging activity hit its highest monthly share of all mortgage approvals since the BBA began collecting data in 1997, at 49 per cent. However the BBA numbers exclude the types of lender who specialised in the UK's "sub-prime" sector.

The number of mortgages approved – that is entirely new finance flowing into the property market – was also up on December, although that was an exceptionally low figure. Some 44,288 new mortgages were approved by the major banks in January, higher than expected by analysts. A total of £18bn was advanced to consumers during the month, up from £15.5bn in December, although the figure was down 4.7 per cent on a year earlier.

Nonetheless, the new mortgage approval figures remain among the lowest on record, and down 31.3 per cent on January 2007. There was little in the data to shift the expectation of a stagnant real-estate market in 2008, and the suspicion that first-time buyers are finding it difficult to obtain a mortgage.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "While first-time buyers may be struggling to find finance to get a foot on the residential ladder, there are increasing opportunities to refinance for those who already own property. This reflects the greater willingness on the part of lenders to pass on base rate cuts to this group of borrowers. It does, however, throw into sharp relief the claim that a weaker housing market will necessarily be good news for first-time buyers."

There is also evidence of the credit crunch hitting the credit card and unsecured personal loan market. New spending on credit cards fell to £7.3bn last month from £7.4bn in December, and new loans dropped £100m to £2.6bn in January, down 6.5 per cent on a year earlier.

David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, said: "Despite strong volumes of retail sales, card transaction volumes were little changed and spending was more than offset by repayments. Overall consumer credit remained subdued."

As well as banks being less willing to lend, households are less keen to borrow, Mr Dooks explained: "The focus on the household budget is stronger, with higher petrol prices and utility bills meaning that people have to be more careful with their expenditure."

Mortgage market slowing sharply

The mortgage market is slowing sharply, according to Hometrack.

Gary Styles, strategy, risk and economics director at Hometrack, said: “The latest Bank of England mortgage data for November provides more evidence that the mortgage market is slowing sharply. Total mortgage approvals (including remortgages) in November were 26 per cent lower than in the same month in the previous year and house purchase approvals were down by 37 per cent.

“House purchase approvals have now fallen for five months in a row to reach their lowest level for almost three years. Low levels of house move activity and ever tightening credit standards have resulted in market volumes returning to levels last seen in January 2005.

“Reduced credit supply and re-pricing in the credit markets have changed the sentiment and outlook for the mortgage and housing market. With mortgage interest rates still expected to remain high for higher risk borrowers, we anticipate that total outstanding mortgage growth will slow to around seven per cent by the end of 2008 from around 10.2 per cent in November. These numbers are very much in line with the mortgage forecasts we published at the start of November when we stated that we expect total net lending to fall by around 18 per cent in 2008 to £85 billion.

“With house price inflation slowing and mortgage lending falling, it looks likely that the housing and mortgage markets will require lower mortgage interest rates in the next few months to ensure a soft landing for the property and mortgage markets.”

Lending figures buoyed by remortgages

The number of new mortgages taken out in July declined, but a busy month for remortgages kept lending figures high, figures showed today.
There were 66,695 approvals for house purchases over the month, the lowest number in three months and down from 75,318 in June, said the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

However, the figure was only slightly lower than the 67,412 approvals for purchases in July last year, suggesting that seasonal trends rather than rising interest rates may be behind the fall.

A total of £21.5bn was lent for all mortgages through the month, of which approvals for house purchases were worth £10.5bn.
House buyers borrowed an average of £156,900, 13% more than in July last year, an increase that outstripped the 11.2% annual rise in house prices recorded by Halifax.

A total of 182,950 mortgages were approved over the month, with the number of remortgage approvals reaching 68,814.

The BBA's director of statistics, David Dooks, said: "With customers seeking to replace deals or fix their mortgage costs, increased remortgaging activity boosted the banks' lending in July.

"Lower approval volumes simply reflected the seasonal pattern, so we expect the stable trend in the banks' lending to continue over the next couple of months."

The BBA's figures for unsecured borrowing showed a £0.2bn rise in the value of personal loans and overdrafts taken out over the month.

There was also an increase in spending on credit cards, with £7.6bn put on plastic during the month, 8% more than July last year.

However, repayments on cards and seasonal adjustments meant net lending was down by £82m over the month.

Mr Dooks said: "Because cardholders are at least matching their spending with repayments, card borrowing continued to decline."

US cuts interest rates, UK to follow?

US authorities have cut interest rates by 0.5 per cent and speculation is rife that the Bank of England could follow suit.

The Federal Reserve's open market committee lowered interest rates as the US housing market is slowing severely and there are fears for the economy.

In response to the 0.5 per cent cut - larger than expected - financial markets across the world rose.

Speculation is now growing that the Bank of England could follow suit - even before Christmas – especially as inflation fell last month.

"We should start to expect rates to be cut relatively soon. It probably doesn't mean next month, but it could mean before the end of the year," Credit Suisse economists Robert Barrie and Neville Hill wrote in a research note reported by Reuters.

However, Royal Bank of Scotland economist Ross Walker explained that a UK rate cut was not certain but more likely.

"I don't think there's any sense that the Bank of England is about to ease monetary policy and cut interest rates very soon," he told on BBC Radio 4's Today programme

"The situation in the US and the UK is rather different. The US is growing at a sub trend rate, unemployment is rising, whereas in the UK we're actually growing at an above trend pace, we've got job creation, very limited spare capacity.

He added: "I don't think the Bank of England is going to be in the Fed slipstream immediately."

Meanwhile, Barry Naisbitt, chief economist at Abbey, predicted the US rate cut would aid the UK economy: "It should help to reduce the turbulence in global financial markets and, in turn, should help to support steady economic growth in the UK."

Jeremy Tigue, head of global equities at F&C Investments, explained the rate cut was a bid to stop problems in the credit markets spreading to the US economy. However, some instability is still expected.

"We believe all markets will be volatile for the rest of 2007 and there will be some high profile problems in individual companies, sectors and markets. However, it is our view that the peak in stress has been seen and that the worst is over," he said.

He added the credit crunch could still hurt UK homeowners: "In the UK, mortgages will be more expensive and in shorter supply so house prices here may also come under pressure."

The Bank of England did take action today to ease the credit crunch by injecting £10 billion into the money markets - following the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve which did the same last month.

More buyers as prices fall

The summer lull in the housing market appears to be coming to an end according to figures released today by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

The organisation reported an average of 326 house hunters per estate agent during August, up from 314 during July, an increase of 3.6 per cent.

Although an autumn upturn in interest is typical for the housing market, the average number of potential homebuyers per agent recorded remains at the lowest level for the month since 2003.

This is principally due to uncertainty in the UK housing market, higher interest rates and the introduction of home information packs (Hips).

"The latest figures indicate a period of low house price inflation may well be on its way," commented NAEA president, Stewart Lilly.

"However, the recent introduction of the second phase of Hips is likely to cause more disruption and in particular prompt a 'wait-and-see' strategy from individuals who are unsure about the full impact of the legislation.

Despite the increase in the number of homebuyers looking for property the average number of sales per estate agent increased, up from ten in July to 12 in August.

Levels are again down from 2006 when an average of 15 sales per agent was recorded.

The number of first-time buyers among purchasers also fell, from 13.4 per cent in July to 7.6 per cent in August.

It now takes an average of 18.2 weeks to sell a property.

"The housing market needs a period of sustained stability to allow people to take stock of the current situation and think carefully about their own personal options," concluded Mr Lilly.

Mortgages & remortgages fell in July, but lending is at an all time high

Homebuyers and remortgagors were relatively subdued in July as figures for both areas of the market fell, but other lending saw figures at an all-time high, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

While home-buying and remortgaging dwindled, other lending, including buy-to-let mortgages, rose to it’s highest-ever value of £7.8 billion, accounting for 23 per cent of total lending.

In July, there were 94,000 house purchase loans taken out, worth £14.8 billion in total, and 92,000 remortgage loans which totalled £11.5 billion. A drop of seven per cent amongst first-time-buyers was noticed compared to June, seeing them fall to £4.4 billion in 32,400 loans.

The drop in first-time-buyer figures can, in part, be accounted for by the lack of affordability, which continues to worsen. July saw first-time-buyers facing a record average income multiple of 3.39, up from 3.37 in June and 3.23 the previous July. An average 19.7 per cent of first-time-buyers’ incomes was committed to their mortgage repayments.

The popularity of fixed rate mortgages prevailed throughout July, accounting for 79% of purchases and remortgages, but this could see a decline in light of recent predictions that the base rate has reached a peak and is now slowly making its way back down, which could cause homebuyers to opt for tracker mortgages.

Michael Coogan, CML Director General, commented: “A slight fall in lending between June and July has emerged for the third year in a row, so of course we cannot read too much into a single month's figures. But the long-anticipated slowdown in the housing and mortgage markets may now be beginning to materialise.

"Last week's MPC decision to hold rates was exactly as expected. Both market conditions and sentiment are coming off the boil, and affordability is ever more stretched, but consumers should not expect any immediate easing in the financial pressures they face.”

Consumers rushing to remortgage amidst fears of interest rate rises

According to recent figures the rises in interest rates applied by the Bank of England over the past year has resulted in many consumers trying to seek out better deals in the form of remortgages. There seems to have been a real rush on remortgages over recent weeks according to statistics, and it is thought that this has been fuelled by the series of five interest rates hikes of 0.25% each since last August.

Many homeowners on variable rate mortgage have seen their repayments rocket as a result of the interest rate rises, which have taken the base rate from 4.5% last August to 5.75% by this August. The Council of Mortgage Lenders has recently released figures that show that there was a 13% rise in the amount borrowed for mortgages in July of this year compared to July of last year, with borrowing levels exceeding the £34 billion mark.

Of the £1 billion worth of mortgages taken out each day during the month of July, it is thought that a large proportion was taken by way of a remortgage, as consumers try to deal with the rate rises as best they can by trying to find a more competitive deal on their mortgage loan. Fixed rate loans have been increasing in popularity as consumers strive to try and stabilise their repayments, and this has added to the interest in remortgaging.

Fears over further interest rate rises over the next couple of month have also led to many consumers trying to secure a better deal before they are hit with rising repayments yet again. However, some experts now state that a further rise may not be needed, as inflation has fallen below the government target again for the first time since March 2006, standing at 1.9%. The government target is 2%, but in March this year inflation hit a ten-year high at 3.1% - way above the government's target.

One official from the British Banker's Association stated longer-term trends in mortgage lending are little changed but July's rise was a surprise, given the impact of the rise to higher interest rates.



Mortgage 2000 unveils fee-free fix

Mortgage 2000 has joined forces with Future Mortgages to offer a three-year fee-free fixed rate deal.

Considering that many borrowers are now coming to the end of previous fixed rate mortgages, people are looking to fix payments again for the foreseeable future – fuelled by rising interest rates and continued house price inflation

The new products come with a free valuation, free legal fees for remortgage, no Higher Lending Charge or extended Early Redemption Charges, and are available to discharged bankrupts and those with IVAs. Remortgages are also available and accommodate borrowers who may have missed up to their last four payments.

The Light Adverse loan is available up to 90% LTV at just 6.89% and allows £4,000 of County Court Judgements (CCJs) and two months arrears. The Medium and Heavy products are available to 85% LTV at 6.99% and 7.29% respectively with £7,000 CCJ’s and three months arrears allowable on Medium and £10,000 of CCJ’s and four months arrears on Heavy Adverse loans.

Nikki Haworth, corporate partnerships manager at Mortgage 2000, said: “With affordability based lending and a self cert option available for both employed and self employed, including first time buyers and the fees-free feature, these deals are sure to be popular with our intermediaries.”

Mark Beddows, key account manager at Future Mortgages added: “The market needs continuous innovation with product criteria. We are pleased to be able to offer these keenly priced fixed rates via one of our key distributors.”

'Almost Prime' fixes available from Pink
Pink Home Loans has launched a new range of ‘Almost Prime’ fixed rates

The 3 year fixed rates are available up to 95% LTV and starting from 6.14%. The products are fees assisted, with a free standard valuation and £200 cashback and are available for both purchases and remortgages.

Available across the board to first-time buyers, the employed and the self employed, the mortgage carries a £695 arrangement fee and a Higher Lending Charge (HLC) will apply to loans over 90% LTV.

The rates are also available for right to buy (RTB) purchases up to 85% LTV and an additional RTB insurance fee of £125 - which can be added to the loan - is compulsory on remortgages and is optional for purchases.

Platform will accept up to £500 of County Court Judgements and ignores CCJ’s of less than £100 (satisfied or not), satisfied more than 6 months ago or registered more than 2 years ago, satisfied or not. Defaults and all arrears over 12 months are ignored.

David Copland, deputy managing director at Pink Home Loans, said: “I’m sure that these competitive 3-year fixed rates, funded by Platform, will be welcomed by intermediaries who have clients with marginal adverse looking to secure a competitive rate without incurring all of the associated fees”.

Paul Isaacs, corporate relationship manager for Platform, added: “This new exclusive is testament to the ongoing relationship Platform maintains with Pink. The product has been designed with Pink’s membership needs at the forefront of our minds. We are confident that the features of this product will be a winner”.

What do you know about bad credit remortgages?
Did you know that the bad credit remortgages market was highly competitive? Or that bad credit remortgages don’t charge the massive interest rates you think they might? Or that, with the right advice, you could find the ideal bad credit mortgage for your current financial situation?

For many people, a bad credit remortgage is a financial product for those who’ve lost control of their finances. In fact, for many people, it is a lifeline – money made available when other lenders have turned them down. Money made available with affordable terms. Money made available with fair financial advice.

The increasing number of people suffering from debt problems, often through no direct fault of their own, means that there is a growing demand for bad credit financial products. This is a market that has been historically dominated by specialist lenders, but with the competition growing fierce, traditional high street banks and building societies have begun to offer bad credit remortgage and mortgage products to customers.

The rising competition between these lenders means that borrowers who are looking for a bad credit remortgage have access to a wide range of products, at much more reasonable rates. Whilst interest rates on bad credit remortgages are usually higher than for traditional products, the difference between the two rates is nothing like as substantial as in the past; in fact, in some cases, bad credit remortgage rates are only slightly higher. Lenders have discovered that a large percentage of bad credit borrowers are actively looking for a way to take back control of their finances and are willing to budget strictly and maintain their monthly repayments in order to achieve this.

This determination to turn around a bad credit position makes borrowers less of a risk for lenders, and so they are willing to look at more favourable terms and design products that fit this market. No matter what your bad credit position, there should now be a bad credit remortgage on the market that a good advisor can recommend to you.

Mike Burridge is with Leybridge Limited, an FSA authorised and regulated mortgage advisor that specialises in products for those with bad credit problems.

Trackers join the great disappearing act
Drew Wotherspoon of John Charcol comments, “Unless you’ve been on the moon recently, you can’t have missed reports of the great fixed rate disappearing trick over the last few months. Many deals have come and gone in the blink of an eye giving borrowers little opportunity to take them up. That said, the current crop of fixed rates have been around for longer than most, with two year Swap rates maintaining their current level, around 6.3%, for a few weeks now. The problem is, they just look expensive.

“However, the gap between fixed and variable rates has shrunk over the last week, with all of the variable rates that were at least half a per cent below bank rate being withdrawn. With these going, it really is a case of size matters, with some deals offering lower rates with big fees, and others more modest fees but slightly higher rates.”

So with rates getting closer and closer, which way should I go?

“As ever, if you need the security that a fixed rate provides, you should take one. One excellent product that now looks like even better value than when it launched is the wait and see mortgage from the Woolwich which offers borrowers the chance to fix at 5.39% for one year. It has a modest fee of £595 and free legals and valuation on remortgages.

“However, it is still John Charcol’s opinion that there is better value to be had in variable rates. We do not anticipate bank rate rising beyond 6%, and even that is up for debate after reading the latest set of minutes from the Monetary Policy Committee which recognise that most of the impact is still to be felt from the recent run of rises. We also believe that rates are likely to fall back in the second half of next year, so variables look to offer better value over a two year period. However, this is far from an exact science. Depending on the size of your mortgage, the best two year variable mortgages are from the Saffron and the Halifax. As ever, advice is clearly key.”

Overseas remortgages rise due to increase in UK base rate
The overseas finance specialist expects to see a continuous acceleration of these types of mortgage enquiries throughout the summer, following last week’s fifth rate increase in twelve months to 5.75 per cent.

With European base rates consistently lower than their UK counterparts, with the European Central Bank has maintained rates at 4 per cent, UK residents with property on the continent are looking to repay all or some of their UK mortgages using finance raised on their holiday homes, according to the company.

Assetz says thousands of UK citizens have fundstied up in overseas property that was purchased using savingsat , "a time when overseas finance was less readily available to foreign property purchasers".

The company is set to launch an investor awareness campaign this month, to help make overseas property owners aware that they could access these funds in order to repay their loans and mortgages in the UK.

Alternatively, the companys says, they could, "use these cheaper European mortgages for any number of reasons, such as home improvements, rather than raising the cash by re-mortgaging in the UK where repayments would be higher".

Katy Hepworth, overseas mortgage manager of Assetz Finance, said: "Investors should be aware that now is the prime time to re-mortgage in Europe. Base rates are still considerably lower than in the UK, so by re-evaluating their borrowing, investors can potentially make big savings.

"However, a rise in the European base rate is expected in September, so even though rates will still remain much lower than at home, investors should act now to secure the best deals."

Leeds Mortgage launched
Leeds Building Society has rolled out a new three-year fixed-rate mortgage to provide customers with security of mind over fixed repayments.

The Leeds mortgage provides an interest rate of 5.69 per cent, with no higher lending charges applying to the package.

The package also permits for ten per cent in capital repayments to be paid each year, which Karen Wint, head of marketing & PR at the group, said it would allow for "excellent flexibility".

Ms Wint said that in an environment of rising interest rates, with the Bank of England having most recently raised rates by a quarter point to 5.75 per cent, the Leeds mortgage "will be extremely attractive to many borrowers".

She added: "We have also launched a fee free version for customers who require help with other costs including completion fee, valuation fee and legal fees on remortgages."

For people who want more information on remortgages, customers should call into their local branch, or visit the Leeds Building Society website.

Can you handle your mortgage repayments?
Borrowers with fixed rate loans that are about to expire face a huge rise in repayments. But is jumping into another fix the best solution?

If you are one of the two million homeowners whose cheap fixed-rate mortgage is due to expire in the next few weeks, you probably don't need reminding that today's fixed rate deals are at least 1.25 percentage points higher than when you took the loan out and nudging the 6 per cent mark.

The harsh reality is that borrowers with a typical fixed-rate repayment mortgage of £200,000 could see their monthly payments rise by up to £150 a month. This could be more than some homeowners can handle and they will be in a quandary about what to do next.

If you currently have a repayment mortgage the temptation is to switch to an interest-only mortgage, if only for a year or so, to ease the burden. On a £200,000 repayment mortgage at a rate of 5.59 (currently available from Northern Rock) per cent with 20 years left to run, your repayments would be £1,405 a month, but they would fall to £931 on an interest-only basis, saving you £474 a month.

"For many people interest-only could be an attractive option, but be aware of the ramifications," says Melanie Bien of Savills Private Finance. "On the above example, the repayment deal over 20 years would entail you paying around £131,000 in interest, plus the capital, whereas with an interest-only loan you would pay £220,000 in interest and still owe the £200,000.

"It is important to switch back to a repayment deal when you remortgage again, or when rates fall and payments become more affordable. This ensures that you clear the capital by the end of the term. If you don't, you will be out of pocket in the long run."

Surveying the future
In today’s marketplace the growing prominence of the automated valuation model (AVM) cannot be ignored. In its latest survey, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that in 2007 it expected AVMs to be used in 3 per cent of house purchases and 28 per cent of remortgages, with an anticipation that this will grow to 25 per cent of all house purchases and 55 per cent of remortgages by 2011.

As we are well aware, used correctly, AVMs can prove extremely helpful in significantly reducing costs and drastically speeding up the lending process. However, while their potential is ever increasing, in their current form, the blanket use of AVMs across all residential properties is not realistic.

Despite their growing popularity and widespread use, there are a number of issues that are still hampering the growth and use of AVMs – namely the reliability of existing data. AVMs work on the basis of current datasets for property transactions over a period of years, typically only as far back as the year 2000, when online Land Registry data was first made available.

Cheap Remortgages - Save Huge Money And Be Financially Stronger
A borrower is now immensely benefited by fierce competition in remortgages market. There are number of remortgages products that have been launched be the lenders in past few years. There is no point in paying the same higher amount per month to the mortgage lender now. All you have to do is search for cheap remortgages, which you find many these days.

Remortages are an option in the hands of the mortgages borrowers. One opts for remortgages when interest rates in market have fallen substantially. Cheap remortgages are all about replacing higher interest rate mortgage loans with a lower interest rate loan. So, cheap remortgages are called cheap because they have a lower interest rate involved for the borrower.

Stiff loan deals put debtors on the streets
Growing numnbers of people are seeing their dreams of home ownership dissolve into the nightmare of repossession after taking out large mortgages from sub-prime lenders in order to consolidate unsecured debts.
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that repossessions are at their highest level for seven years, having risen from 10,310 in 2005 to 17,000 in 2006, and research from Shelter reveals that a disproportionate number of recent repossessions have been initiated in the sub-prime sector, often on remortgages arranged to cover other debts.

House prices rise £35 per day
Latest figures from Nationwide report an increase in house prices of £35 per day, indicating a 1.3 per cent rise over the month of September. Such figures show that despite speculation, the housing market is extremely strong, - so strong infact that it is up on last years figures, forcing many would-be buyers to struggle to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide's group economist, Fionnuala Earley states that while demand has remained strong throughout the summer, supply has dampened due to sellers being slow to place their properties on the market. First time buyers will suffer most in the current mortgage climate, with many of them struggling to find the finance to raise a deposit. It seems that parents are choosing to aid the situation, often by remortgaging their own homes.

Long-term mortgage commitments
Around 40% of homeowners believe that they will be close to retirement before they actually own the house in which they reside, according to new research. Many believe that they their mortgage repayments hinder their financial liberty in other areas of their lives. 40% of those interviewed stated that due to their mortgage, savings have taken a backseat, and on top of this, a large portion of 25-29 year olds, state that they have been forced to delay starting a family due to their mortgage commitments. If you suffer from large mortgage payments, it may serve you well to consider a remortgage - which could lower repayments, allowing you to save or treat yourself now and again!

Remortgages used to clear credit card debts
With August's interest rate hike, many homeowners are choosing to look at remortgages as a solution to clear their outstanding credit card debts. Mortgage lending rose to £6.2 billion in August, far surpassing the £5.8 billion rise in July, with remortgages playing a major role in this increase. At the same time, unsecured personal lending fell by £0.2 billion in August. David Dooks, BBA director of statistics states that, this buoyancy in mortgage lending is contrasted by the trend in consumer credit, where credit card lending has shown a further decline (the fourth month in a row) while lending on personal loans and overdrafts was weak.

Remortgages Vs Pensions
As more people seem to be putting less money into their pensions, remortgaging could increase to ensure financial stability throughout later years. Recent figures indicate that personal pension returns have fallen by as much as half in the last decade. Such figures strongly indicate that a comfortable retirement will only be enjoyed by those who actively monitor their own pension provisions. For those who may not be in such a great position, remortgaging or downsizing homes may need to be considered.

Remortgages allow for holiday homes
If you dream of owning a holiday home abroad, you may wish to review a variety of remortgages - as they may provide an ideal solution to fulfilling your dream. New figures suggest that many people can save more than enough money to fund a deposit for a second home within two years, should they remortgage. Experts predict that it is possible to cut monthly payments from around £607 to £451, resulting in a saving of nearly £4000 within two years. With this in mind, one may wish to look at homes in Egypt, a place with an emerging holiday home market.

A healthy mortgage market

Expert analyst David Stubbs of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), has stated that the mortgage market is in 'excellent health'. Mr Stubbs believes that there has been strong investor activity, sustaining house prices. First-time buyers may find it difficult to get onto the property ladder however, thus strengthening the letting/rental market. The number of mortgages approved in July was up by 25,000 on the national, monthly average of 95,000.

400,000 new homes could be built in the South-East alone

In 2005 alone, there was a reported 30,000 hectares of brownfield land availble for housing development, capable of housing many would-be first-time buyers currently struggling to find residence due to the decreasing affordability. Further, in the South-East alone, there is enough brownfield land to build upto 400,000 new homes, which would be sure to ease the over-stretched housing market in this area. Brownfield sites are priority for new developments, ensuring that country landscapes are protected from development for as long as possible.

Subsidence to increase remortgages

Experts suggest that there may be an increase in remortgages taken out in order to compensate for subsidence problems following the summer heat wave. Many people struggle to obtain insurance if their properties have subsidence problems, and hence, may need to scout through various remortgages in order to obtain finance to carry out underpinning work. Last year, remortgages increased during the months of August and September due to subsidence problems, and it is suggested that this year the problems may be worse.

Remortgages offer home improvement solutions

For those who cannot afford to move house, home improvements may offer an alternate solution. Remortgages may offer the essential finance needed in order to carry out such work, and could result in a sense of moving up the property ladder. Carrying out home improvements also removes the complication of moving house, and offers a potential increase in the value of the property - another benefit to remortgages.

Remortgages compensate for interest rate rise

The recent interest rate hike has caused many mortgage lenders to review their standard variable rates, and increase them by 0.35 percent from September, thus exceeding the Bank of England's own increase. Experts say that it may be wise to browse through various remortgages, and take out a series of short term deals, remortgaging regularly so as to avoid the possible long-term fixed rate affect. Many tracker mortgages or remortgages still offer competitive options so they should not be ruled out completely.

Higher wages

With the Bank of England expressing concern with regards to inflation, wages were tipped to rise 4.1%. However, news that wages rose by 4.3% in recent months even suprised some experts, but, inspite of this, it can only benefit the housing market. With the rise in house prices, affordability suffered dramatically, leaving many potential buyers with insufficient funds to raise a mortgage.

First-time buyers fail to capitalise

June saw a house price 'cooling off' period with prices rising 5.2% per year, compared to the previous month's 5.6% per year. Despite this, it seems that houses targeted by first-time buyers are becoming more expensive, with the average price now standing at £150,000. This is 6.8% higher than the average for the previous year, and forces first-time buyers to take out much larger mortgages.

100% mortgage increase

First time buyers are now borrowing more than ever it was reported today. The average mortgage reached a staggering 3.21 times the borrower's salary, even eclipsing the property boom of the 1980s. Many lenders are now prepared to offer 100% mortgages, which aids those who have not saved for a house deposit - particularly first time buyers. Affordability calculations are now being used to discover whether an applicant should be offered a mortgage, rather than the standard income multiple solution. This generally means that larger loans can be acquired. There are financial implications in that circumstances often change, and borrowers could fall into difficulty should they become unable to meet repayments.

Property millionaires as house prices expected to reach 71% growth

The Centre for Economic Business and Research (CEBR) predict a huge 71% increase to house prices over the next 14 years which will produce a great number of property millionaires in Britain. The number of millionaires in the UK at present is set to quadruple by the year 2010 - with a vast number of them earning wealth through property. In 2003 a survey showed that those worth between £500,000 and £1,000,000 had 45% of their worth invested in property, and this value is only expected to increase.

London sustains house price average

London's average house price is compensating for those areas of the UK which fall below the national average it was reported today. Over the past year, London has seen a 10% increase to its house prices, with experts predicting a reduced augmentation over the remainder of the year. The gap between the prices in London and the rest of the country are therefore expected to narrow.

House prices to increase

Experts believe that we should prepare ourselves for an increase in house prices, and hence, larger mortgages over the next two years. CML have released their expected figures of 7% growth in 2006, 3% over 2007 and finally 4% increase in 2008. With the average house price nearing £200,000, affordability seems to worry many people. However, experts say that the increase in prices does not directly mean less affordable housing as lenders are now agreeing larger mortgage deals.

House prices not affected by interest rate hike

Following the recent interest rate increase, we have seen affects within the mortgage market - fixed rate mortgages have risen by 0.4% and monthly payments on tracker mortgages have increased too - but house price specialists maintain that there will not be much of an affect within their field. It is believed that there will be an element of calming on house prices later in the year due to deteriorating affordability, and this will only be reinforced by the interest rate rise.

Deteriorating affordability Vs Increasing house prices

Despite the deteriorating affordability, there has been a steady growth in house prices so far this year. This is an indication that there is still a market supporting the increase in prices, but one can expect a reduced rate of increase later in the year due to affordability. Nationwide has altered its expected house price growth towards 5%, from its initial estimate of 0 - 3% in December.

'Parents, can you lend me £17,000 please?'

Research has shown that first-time buyers are often turning to parents or grandparents in order to find funding for a deposit on their first home. The average amount parents find themselves lending is £17,000, whilst the average first-time buyer mortgage has risen from 3.06 to 3.21 times the annual income. Further, there has been a 14% increase in first-time buyers taking out loans.

What's the score?

Are you one of the 20% of people in Britain who don't know whether their credit score is good or bad? If so, you're in luck. The UK payments association has released a guide explaining credit records, how to maintain a healthy one and how lenders use credit scores when deciding how much consumers can borrow. Director of APACS, Sandra Quinn explains that it is important to check your credit report at least once a year, ensuring that a) you do not experience problems accessing credit when you require it and b) you have peace of mind that you have not been a victim of identity theft.

Remortgage to combat interest rate rise

If you have a £100,000, standard variable rate mortgage, the recent interest rate rise coud see you pay a further £20.83 on top of your previous repayment. It has been suggested that those with such a mortgage should consider contacting their lender to discuss the possibility of transferring to a more competitive rate.

Shorething Mortgages launches new website

Shorething Mortgages has today launched it's brand new website, located at The website was setup in order to improve the means of locating a suitable mortgage lender for those who may have problems remortgaging inparticular. Rather than browsing thousands of web pages searching for a lender capable of dealing with their personal circumstance, customers can now simply complete the online enquiry form and a lender specialising in this field will contact them within days with the perfect solution.

Renovating? Then Remortgaging is for you!

Financial Comparison website, has revealed that it may serve home developers to remortgage their property rather than taking out a home improvement loan. Remortgaging offers more competitive interest rates in the region of 4.37%, whilst the interest on home improvement loans is currently residing at 6.5%. The head of mortgages at, Louise Cuming indicated that developers could save around £2000 by choosing to remortgage, and hence, pay for new furniture and such like, to accompany the renovation. This news is likely to improve the already successful remortgage volumes, which currently account for 38% of all lending activity.

Kensington Mortgages reduces rates

Kensington Mortgages has reduced many of its self certified mortgage rates, benefitting their self employed borrowers massively. Within the 'Simple Choices' range, rates have seen a decrease of 0.4 per cent, representing a saving of 25%. Ian Giles, director of marketing at Kensington Mortgages, aims to please his customers this summer, giving them something esle to smile about whilst they enjoy their holidays.

Landlords choose to remortgage

It has been suggested that the Buy-To-Let mortgage field is partly responsible for the significant rise in remortgage activity over the recent months. It seems that rather than increasing rent and searching for new tenants, landlords are now looking to retain long-term tenants, and instead, remortgage their property to reduce the rate of rent. Other reasons for the increased remortgage activity include the growing market - which allows for homeowners to search for better deals.

Top economist predicts rise in remortgaging

A senior Lloyds TSB economist, Mr Jeavon Lolay has stated that consumer debt is behind the increase in remortgaging. Many more people are now choosing to remortgage their homes in order to contain debt, which, according to Mr Lolay, has many long-term benefits - such as using equity as savings. Remortgaging in the month of May has risen 17% in comparison to the same time last year.

Weaknening market? Not likely...

Mortgage Lenders CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders), BSA (British Societies Association) and the BBS (British Bankers Association) have reported a record month for property loans and remortgage funds, during the month of May this year. All three lenders released improved figures compared to last year, with the Building Societies Association stating that it was the 'highest May on record' for them. This has prompted many experts to refute talk of a weakening mortgage market, with Michael Coogan, Director General of CML stating that the market would remain robust even if the demand were to slow down later in the year.

Inflation Pressure

Experts have warned that the continued growth in the amount of money in Britain could have negative affects in terms of inflation. Last month, mortgage lending of broad money reached £16.1 billion - an increase of 0.9%. As for retail, many have implemented a cut-price scheme in order to boost sales - thus increasing the amount of money coming into the UK, and hence, placing the currency under pressure of inflation. It is expected that there shall soon be an increase to interest rates in an attempt to keep inflation under control.

Adverse Credit Mortgage or Standard Mortgage?

According to research carried out by Moneynet, many people seeking new mortgage deals are being offered sub prime mortgages when, in reality, they may well be eligible for cheaper, standard deals available from high street lenders. Those with minor arrears or CCJ's are included in those who can quite frequently, be lent to at normal rates. Should one require, independent mortgage brokers can be contacted to discuss whether or not a deal could be made with the normal rates.

Remortgaging Vs Accumulation of debt

A recent survey by Nationwide Building Society has claimed that card providers are making £500 million worth of profit each year as customers are allowing credit to build up on their cards. A shocking 40% of people are unaware that such debt is mounting up. Those who have found themselves in such a situation may benefit from non-conforming mortgages and remortgages which are available and allow for debt to be cleared.

Council tenants denied Right To Buy

In the areas of Elgin, Lossiemouth and other small towns and villages, tenants are being denied their Right To Buy in order for their councils to protect the reducing housing stocks. The council is a number of local authorities within Scotland which have successfully applied to the Scottish Executive to have part of its area recognised as 'pressured' in terms of the Housing Act 2001. The suspension of the Right To Buy Act within these areas is to last a period of 5 years, and applies only to tenancies which began on or after 30 September 2002.


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